In speech at Deutsche Bank in Berlin Thursday (Oct. 6th), World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy  commented on the future of the multilateral trading system and advocated for WTO members to "keep multilateral cooperation alive," stating, "What we need is an international monetary system which facilitates international trade, cross border investment and a better allocation of capital across nations. What we need is a global monetary system which inspires confidence and offers stability. One which provides the means by which global imbalances that risk endangering stability can be addressed. Differently put, we need to do for international monetary relations what we already did for trade: move from the world of Hobbes towards the world of Kant."

Lamy emphasized the importance of avoiding unilateral measures as he remarked that trade "is not immune to this global state of affairs," continuing, "It is clear that WTO rules will not be able to solve macroeconomic issues at the heart of the performance of currencies worldwide. WTO rules will not fix consumption or saving patterns at home, they will not solve competitiveness issues of domestic industries, and they will not be determining domestic interest rates. All these issues require a mix of cooperation in the macroeconomic field and proper domestic policies which lie outside the remit of the WTO.  In the current volatile environment we need to make sure that the WTO system does not crumble under the weight of excessive expectations." 

Since the beginning of the economic crisis of 2008-2009, the WTO and its DG have urged members to ward off protectionist measures and to address the challenges of the crisis by acting in a collaborative manner. 

To read Pascal Lamy’s speech, please visit the following link: